Academic Standing Requirements

To remain in good academic standing, graduate students are required to maintain a minimum GPA throughout the graduate program and make satisfactory progress toward their declared program.

Master’s students are required to maintain a minimum GPA of 2.7 throughout the program, and must be completing the appropriate courses in accordance with their degree program, as agreed upon with his/her assigned Faculty Advisor. Students must complete the academic requirements of degree program within seven (7) years of matriculation.
Ph.D. students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 throughout the program. Students must be making satisfactory progress toward the degree, including taking courses as approved by the assigned Faculty Advisor, and satisfactorily passing/completing requirements such as the Qualifying Exams and the Dissertation proposal. Students must complete the academic requirements of degree program within ten (10) years of matriculation.


Graduate students not making satisfactory academic progress may receive a warning or be placed on academic probation.  Those placed on probation must create an academic plan for the subsequent semester to improve their GPA. This plan should be on file with the graduate student’s program and the Graduate RAS Office as well. In the absence of improvement in the subsequent semester, students on warning or probation may be dropped from their program and the University of Pennsylvania.


GPA Grading Scale

The GPA grading scale is as follows:

A+ A A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D+ D F
4.0 4.0 3.7 3.3 3.0 2.7 2.3 2.0 1.7 1.3 1.0 0.0




Course Incompletes, Retakes, NR (No Report), and Failures

The mark of “I” is used to designate an Incomplete, “NR” for No Report (no grade submitted), and “GR” (student was not present in class though enrolled). These marks will remain as permanent grades until a Change of Grade is submitted by the instructor of the course for the completion of the requirements. An “F” grade will not count towards the course requirements.


No course may be retaken to improve a grade of “C” unless the content is different. No grade lower than a “C-” will be counted in courses designated as “core” courses or those courses must be retaken. However, students may compete additional work, with the instructor’s permission, to improve this grade. Graduation may not be postponed for grade improvement if all other graduation criteria are met.

If a grade of “D” or “F” is received in a core or required course, which prevents graduation, the student has three options:

  1. At the discretion of the instructor, the student can work with the instructor to improve the grade to “C” or higher with additional course work.
  2. At the discretion of the instructor, the student can retake the course by attending the course again (in a subsequent term) without registering or paying additional tuition, and will receive a grade change if earned. Please note attending again or sitting in on the course does not count towards full-time status.
  3. If instructor does not agree to either (1) or (2), the student can register and pay tuition for the course again. Upon successful completion of the course with the same instructor, the original registration will be changed to “withdraw” with the instructor’s permission.  **The original course will not be counted toward graduation or GPA and SEAS will not allow the course to be counted twice toward the degree.


The mark of “S” is used to indicate satisfactory performance and the mark of “U” is used to indicate unsatisfactory performance in EAS 897 or EAS 898: Curricular Practical Training (CPT); Ph.D. dissertation research (999); and if applicable to the program, Ph.D. teaching practicum (895). Master’s thesis research (597) has a letter-grade (Effective FA18).

The course Pass/Fail option is NOT permitted for graduate students.